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New River Baptist Association — 1881

Minutes of the Eleventh Annual Session

Held with the Liberty Hill Church, Grayson County, VA. September 2, 1881

Opening Session – First Day

The New River Association of Baptist convened with the Liberty Hill Baptist Church, Grayson County, Va., in its eleventh annual meeting, Friday, September 2d, 1881.

The annual sermon was preached by Elder W. R. L. Smith, Text: John 12th chap., part 20th verse, “If any man serve me, him will my Father honor.”

Letters from the different churches were presented and read, and names of delegates enrolled.

On motion the Association proceeded to the election of Moderator, Clerk and Treasurer. Bros. Kincannon and Houston acting as tellers, reported Elder J. R. Sherwood as Moderator, and Elder W. C. Parks, Clerk and Treasurer.

On motion the Association took a recess for one hour. After it was called to order by the Moderator, the rules of decorum and constitution were read.

On motion visiting and corresponding brethern were invited to seats. Elder W. R. L. Smith and Elder J. L. Kincannon, D. D., delegates from the General Association of Virginia, with Elder Wm. Fisher from the Appomattox Association, Bro. J. T. Spainhour from Brushy Mountain Association, Elder J. S. Poe, from the Raleigh Association, and Bro. Harris from the Elkin Association, accepted seats, and received the right hand of fellowship by the Moderator on behalf of the Association.

The following committees were announced:

On Religious Services: Brethern L. N. Perkins, J. Eller, T. W. Sheets, with Pastor and delegate of this church.

On Finance: Brethern Sidney Tucker, R. L. Shoof, and Robt. Young.

On Arrangements: Brethern W. G. Young, Albert Blevins, A. C. Hash, Harrison Blevins, and P. G. Earnest, with Moderator, Clerk and visiting brethern.

On Time and Place for next Association: Brethern Jacob Grubb, P. J. Earnest and Wm. Stamper.

Elder Wm. Fisher, missionary for the Association presented a report, which, after remarks, was adopted. And to his support $8.40 was contributed.

The following preamble and resolutions, offered by Bro. Kincannon, after being discussed by him and Bro. Smith was unanimously adopted:

Whereas, It is an important fact that much of our prosperity in the past is due to the fact that the General Association of Virginia has ever extended to us a helping hand, when it was in their power to do so, and believing that our best interests and highest efficiency will be promoted by a constant and hearty co-operation with the General Association of Virginia, therefore:

Resolved, That we adopt the following plan of co-operation with that lodge:

  1. That we appoint a committee of one man for each of the six boards of the General Association, viz: State Missions, Foreign Missions, Sunday-School and Bible, Home Mission, Educational, and Minister’s Relief Fund, whose business it shall be to take in hand and prosecute the work, communicate to each by writing to, and otherwise stirring up the churches and brethern, so as, if possible, to secure a collection from each church in the Association to each of the boards of the General Association.
  2. That the several committeemen shall submit to this Association at its next meeting, a report of their work done and the results as far as may be practicable, with such other information as may be desirable in connection with the work they have on hand.
  3. That these six committee-men representing the six boards, with the Moderator, shall constitute the executive board of the Association, who shall have the oversight of the whole work, and confer with the board of the General Association in regard to appointment, etc., in this body.
  4. That we further recommend to the churches, that they join in the cooperation by appointing in each church six committeemen, one for each board, who may bring these several objects before the church and its members and secure a contribution to these several objects.
  5. That we recommend the propriety of making our financial year close with the financial year of the General Association of Virginia, which is always the first week in June, so that all credits for the year may be in the minutes of the General Association.

The Committee on Religious Services report preaching in this house tonight, by Bro. J. S. Poe; to-morrow, 11 o’clock, services at the stand by Bro. D. S. Hubble, and at 2 o’clock P.M. at the stand by Bro. Stamey.

On motion of Bro. Ellis, the Association Adjourned until tomorrow morning at 9 o’clock. Spend half-hour in devotional exercises. Benediction by Bro. Poe.

Second Day – Morning Session

Saturday Morning
September 3, 1881

The Association met pursuant to adjournment, and was called to order by the Moderator.

Spent half-hour in devotional exercises conducted by Elder Fisher.

Suspended the reading of the minutes and roll call.

Committee of Arrangements submitted a report which was adopted.

Bro. Sherwood submitted a report on State Missions, which, after remarks by Elders Fisher and Kincannon, was adopted.

Bro. Parks submitted a report on Foreign Missions, which after remarks by Elder Smith who exhibited a map explanatory of the Foreign Mission work was adopted.

On motion of Bro. Young, the Association took a recess for one hour, when it was again called to order by the Moderator and resumed business.

Bro. Earnest submitted a report on Home Missions which was discussed by Elders Smith and Fisher, and adopted.

Bro. Eller submitted a report on education which was discussed by Elder Kincannon and Brethern Spainhour and Perkins, was adopted.

Bro. Perkins submitted a report on Minister’s Relief Fund, which was adopted, after remarks by Elders Fisher and Smith.

Committee on Religious Services reported preaching on to-morrow, 11 o’clock a.m., at the stand by Elder Kincannon, D.D., and in the house by Elder Smith.

On motion the Association adjourned till tonight, early candle light. Prayer by Elder Smith. Benediction by Bro. Parks.

Saturday Night

The Association met pursuant to adjournment.

Prayer was offered by Bro. Blevins

The roll of delegates was called:

Bro. Stamey submitted the following resolutions, which, after remarks by brethern Parks, Maiden and Harris, was adopted.

Resolved, That this body approve the work of the Sunday-School and Bible Board, and that we will give it our sympathy and co-operation.

Futher, That we advise and urge every church in the bounds of this Association to establish and maintain a Sunday-school.

Bro. Shoaf submitted a report on family worship; discussed by brethern Poe and Stamey, and adopted.

Correspondents called on for reports.

Elder Maidain visited the Lebanon Association and was cordially received.

Then considered the subjects of church buildings when Elder Stamey presented a plan for the building of a Missionary Baptist house of worship on his lands, (the lot to be donated), and to be deeded to the Trustees of the Baptist Church, the sum of $81.11 was donated by brethern and friends to aid in the work of constructing this building, payable at next Association, provided the work is completed.

The Finance Committee submitted a report which was adopted.

The Committee on time and place for next association recommended Grubb’s Chapel church as the place, Thursday before the 1st Sunday in September 1882, as the time. Adopted.

The following committees were announced.

On State Missions: L. N. Perkins
On Foreign Missions: James Eller
On Home Missions: F. C. Young
On Sunday-school and Bible Board: W. C. Parks
On Education: R. W. Young
On Minister’s Relief Fund: J. M. Walls

The Association then proceeded to the election of preacher and alternate for next Association, which resulted in the election of Elder A. Stamey as the preacher, and Elder S. Blackburn as alternate.

On motion of Bro. York, the Clerk was instructed to have printed and distributed among the churches as many minutes as funds will allow, and retain for his services $6.00.

On motion of Bro. Eller, a vote of thanks was tendered to the brethern and sisters of this church, and friends who so hospitably entertained us during the session of the Association.

Then on motion of Bro. Eller, the Association, after prayer by Bro. Fisher, and Singing, “How firm a foundation,” etc., adjourned to meet at Grubb’s Chapel church, Grayson County, Virginia on Thursday before the 1st Sabbath in September 1882. Benediction by Bro. Johnson.

J. A. Sherwood, Moderator

N. C. Parks, Clerk


At an early hour a vast congregation began to assemble at the meeting house, in Sunday-school mass meeting, which was addressed by Elders Fisher, Smith, Poe, and Bro. J. F. Spainhour, greatly to the satisfaction and delight of teachers and pupils.

At 11 o’clock Elder J. T. Kincannon, D.D., preached at the stand. Text: Acts 22 chap, part 10th verse: “What shall I do Lord.”

At the same hour Elder W. L. R. Smith preached in the house. Text: last clause 12th verse 1st. Cor. “Yet show I unto you a more excellent way.” After the close of the sermon, the vast congregation was well treated to refreshments; and at 2 o’clock P.M., Elder Wm. Fisher preached. Text 3rd chapter 1st John, 3rd Verse, “Every man that hath this hope,” etc. During the entire service the large congregation was attentive, and may the Word so faithfully preached be blessed of God in the salvation of many souls.


Reports of Committees
Abstract from Report of Missionary

Elder Wm. Fisher, Missionary of New River Association, reports that he gives the Saturdays and Sabbaths in each month besides appointments occasionally through the week. Total sermons preached during the year, 100; amount collected from churches and other sources on the field, $127.30.

Ministers’ Relief Fund

According to the statistics of the General Association of Virginia, contributions for the Ministers’ Relief Fund for the year ending May 1, 1881, amounted to $1,640.95. New River Association is credited with only 90 cts of that amount. During the year just ended the trustees of this fund report that they have aided eight living ministers with $380.00, and the families of nine deceased ministers with $292.00, amounting in the aggregate to $672.00. The largest amount paid to any one person or family was $85.00, and the smallest $15.00. Believing the object of this fund worthy of our support and encouragement, your committee would recommend that the delegates to this Association take the matter in hand at once, when they return to their respective churches, and make an earnest effort to do something for this fund to the General Association of Virginia.

Respectfully submitted.
L. N. Perkins, Committee

Home Missions

The Home Mission work demands our earnest and prayful consideration, but at the present the call for help is louder than ever before. The destitution of our country is great and the Home Mission Board has not been able to furnish any of our Territories with a Missionary except the Indian Territory. There is a New Mexico with seven-eights of her population Spanish Catholics, Arizona and Utah are in no better condition, and we have not one Missionary in either of them. Therefore we would urge every member of the Association church, and every well-wisher of the cause of Christ and the good of our country, to contribute liberally for the Home Mission work, so as to enable said board to enlighten and Christianize our Territories at the earliest day possible as well as other portions of country. It is especially recommended that our churches raise at least $50.00 during the year, for the Board, the sum being the quota assigned to us as our proportionate part of the $4,000.00, which the State Association desires to raise for Home Missions this year.

P. J. Earnest.


As this is an age of progress in many respects, your committee would respectfully urge the great importance and necessity of a more thorough and better education among our people, and especially among the children and youths of our country. That knowledge is power no one can deny, and in order to bring about a well educated people, and to that end, your committee would respectfully urge the patronage and support of our own Academy at Oak Hill, under the management and control of Prof. J. F. Spainhour as one well worthy of the confidence and support of this entire country. Your committee would recommend Bristol Baptist Female College, Richmond and Wake Forrest College, as great institutions of learning and worthy of support.

J. Eller

Foreign Missions

Much has been said and written and multiplied resolutions adopted favoring the Foreign Mission work; but what is now most needed is action upon the part of the churches, in raising means to amply sustain and send forth more laborers into the vast field now ripened for the harvest. All hearts should be cheered with the grand success of our missionaries now laboring amongst the heathens, thousands are annually converted to God, and churches are being organized. The strenuous oppositions hitherto arrayed against the Missionary is giving away, and a great door is effectually now opened for the preaching of the Gospel of the Son of God, and all the lovers of Jesus, should by their prayers and means aid in the glorious work of conquering the world to Christ; and who can so successfully combat error in its divers forms as Baptists, and to their hands largely is the work committed, and when consummated then may we not with a hopeful and pleased assurance look for the glorious and blessed millennial sign of the Lord Jesus Christ with his people.

W. C. Parks

State Missions

The operations of the State Mission Board of the General Association of Virginia dates back to 1823, when J. B. Jeter and Daniel Wills were sent forth to bear the good tidings of salvation to the large destitution that then spead out on every hand. The good beginning then made was ominous of the glorious results that have crowned our missionary labors since. No affections of our people than the State Mission Board, and why not, since through the labors of its missionaries so large a number of churches have been organized and fostered, the usefulness of this board is limited only by the means at its disposal, notwithstanding the work accomplished, there yet remains a vast destitution to be supplied, what we see around us is equally true of many other section of our State, while counties destitute of Baptist ministers or Baptist churches. No one who loves the Savior and his Word, as we understand it, should be indifferent to the state of things.

During the past year, the State Mission Board had in its employ 34 missionaries, who supplied 115 stations in 14 district Associations, 11 laboring west of the Blue Ridge, 8 in the Piedmont, and 15 in the Tide-water divisions of the State. These missionaries preached 3,251 sermons; baptized 431 converts, held meetings in whom 803 others professed conversion, made 6,117 visits to familieis and 4 new churches, commenced 15 houses of worship-, and finished 3, and sustained 84 Sunday-schools at their mission stations. It ought to be the resolution of every Baptist of the State to put at the disposal of this Board, all the means necessary to carry forward this work to complete success; a work upon which the Master has ever put the seal of his approbation.

Respectfully submitted
J. S. Sherwood


  1. This Body shall be known as the New River Association. It shall be composed of delegates from the churches of this Union as follows: Each church may send all its ordained ministers and four additional delegates, all of whom shall be white persons.
  2. This Association shall have no more control over the churches than the right to enquire into their condition, to advise them, and to withdraw its fellowship from such as may be corrupt in doctrine or practice. Its objects shall be to promote among them fraternal union and sympathy and mutual co-operation in Christian effort.
  3. Each church shall be expected to contribute to an Associational fund for defraying the expenses of the body. The Association will also received and disburse according to the direction of the donors, funds for any religious enterprise approved by it.
  4. Each church shall be expected to send every session of the Association a letter stating the name of the pastor, and also the names of other ordained and licensed ministers in connection with it; of its delegate of the church, discriminating between white and colored members, and male and female white members of Sunday schools, of contributions for the Association fund, and other benevolent purposes, its time of regular meeting together with such other information as it may deem valuable.
  5. A Moderator, Clerk, and Treasurer shall be chosen at every session of the Association by a majority of the members present who shall office until new elections shall have taken place.
  6. If the Moderator be absent at the opening of a session a delegate may be called to the chair pro tempore.
  7. The initial proceeding, after divine worship shall be calling the Association to order, reading letters, election of officers, and appointing a Committee of Arrangements.
  8. The Committee of Arrangements shall prepare business for the Association, and all business shall be attended to in the order in which they arrange it, unless otherwise directed by the Body.
  9. Any regular Baptist church may be admitted to membership in this Association, by a vote of two-thirds of the members present at the time of the application, and any church in convention shall be entitled to letter of dismission, unless there are charges against it of corruption in doctrine or practice; and if a church belonging to its body shall fail to represent for two successive sessions, the Association may appoint a committee to enquire into the cause of such failure.
  10. This Association shall convene at least once a year, at such time and place as it may appoint.
  11. This Constitution may be altered or amended at any session of the body, by a vote of two- thirds of the members present.
  12. This Association may receive corresponding messengers from other Associations upon information of their appointment as such, and visiting ministers whose standing is vouched for by some known brother.
  13. Any member of this body attending a corresponding body may report himself as a delegate.

Rules of Decorum

  1. The Moderator shall take the chair every day during the session at the hour appointed at the adjournment, and call the members to order, and at a suitable season the names of Messengers shall be called over.
  2. The Moderator shall preserve due order and decorum. It shall be his province to determine points of order, subject however to an appeal to the Association. If two brethern rise to speak he shall name the one entitled to the floor.
  3. The Moderator while occupying the chair, may not speak on propositions in the way of discussions or debate, but may call another to the chair, and have the privilege in speaking in common with any other member.
  4. Any member wishing to participate in discussion, or to offer a proposition, shall rise from his seat and respectfully address the Moderator, and shall not proceed until his name be called, or he is otherwise recognized.
  5. The Moderator shall rise to put the question, but he may state it sitting.
  6. No persons shall speak more than twice on the same subject, without leave of the Association.
  7. No member shall absent himself from the Association temporarily without leave of the Moderator, nor finally without leave of the body.
  8. The Association shall appoint two brethern, the one to be principal the other alternate, to preach the next introductory sermon.
  9. The Constitution and By-Laws of this Association shall be read at every session of the body, immediately after its organization.

Statistical Tables

[Note: In the original this information is presented in one table. It has been broken into multiple tables for this presentation.]

Church Pastors Post- Office Support of Pastor State Missions Foregin Missions
Apple Grove S. Blackburn Walnut Hill, NC 9.50
Baptist Union W. C. Parks Mo. Of Wilson, Va. 9.85
Fellowship A. S. Murray Bridle Creek, Va. 45.00
Forest Home W. C. Parks Mo. Of Wilson, Va. 28.25 8.00 2.26
Grubb’s Chapel W. C. Parks Mo. Of Wilson, Va. 13.00 3.00
Galena L. D. Vaughan Spring Valley, Va.
Hebron L. D. Vaughan Spring Valley, Va. 1.00
Liberty Hill J. F. Maiden Marion, Va. 34.00 4.50
Land Mark J. F. Fletcher Jefferson, N.C. 10.00
Mt. Pleasant J. L. Sherwood Mo. Of Wilson, Va. 5.00
Picketts A. Stamey Meadow Creek, Va.
Pleasant Home J. L. Sherwood Mo. Of Wilson, Va. 50.00
Pleasant Grove L. D. Vaughan Spring Valley, Va. 15.00
Pine Branch M. York Bridle Creek, Va. 15.00
State Line J. F. Fletcher Jefferson, N.C. 18.00
White Top S. Blackburn Walnut Hill, NC
Young’s Chapel J. L. Sherwood Mo. Of Wilson, Va. 8.00 3.25

Church Clerks Post-Office Teachers and Sunday Schools
Apple Grove Allen Miller Weasel, N.C.
Baptist Union M. D. Holdaway Grant, Va.
Fellowship Wm. Callahan Elk Creek, Va. 68
Forest Home H. A. Eller Mo. Of Buffalo, N.C. 62
Grubb’s Chapel J. Grubb Bridle Creek, Va.
Galena A. Martin Carsonville, Va.
Hebron A. Stamey Meadow Creek, Va. 40
Liberty Hill R. W. Young Grant, Va. 66
Land Mark L. Barker Walnut Hill, N.C.
Mt. Pleasant A. P. Howell Walnut Hill, N.C.
Picketts N. G. Frazier McGee’s Mill, Va. 32
Pleasant Home A. Blevins Bristol, N.C.
Pleasant Grove W. F. Vaughan Independence, Va.
Pine Branch A. C. Holdaway Bridle Creek, Va.
State Line W. H. Blevins Matney, Tenn.
White Top T. M. Sheets Green Cove, Va.
Young’s Chapel L. N. Perkins, Mo. Of Wilson, Va. 46

Church Delegates Minute
Apple Grove S. Tucker, E. Tucker, H. B. Spence 1.70
Baptist Union S. W. Brewer, S. Perkins, K. B. Welch 2.60
Fellowship Wm. Callahan, W. J. Cornett, Wm. Stamper 2.10
Forest Home J. Eller, R. L. Shoof, A. Williams, P. J. Earnest 2.50
Grubb’s Chapel J. Grubb, F. C. Young, D. Lovelace 1.30
Galena 1.20
Hebron A. Stamey .70
Liberty Hill P. W. Young, J. O. Hix, M. C. Reedy, A. J. Greer 2.00
Land Mark Alfred Barker .50
Mt. Pleasant Troy Blevins 2.00
Picketts C. H. Frazier, C. F. Frazier 1.05
Pleasant Home A. Blevins, J. Hudler, J. Hart, H. Gauthy, M. York 2.00
Pleasant Grove James Sexton, B. O. Johnson .80
Pine Branch A. C. Holdaway, A. S. Murray 1.30
State Line M. Gentry, J. L. Gilbert, W. H. Blevins 1.50
White Top T. M. Sheets, W. H. Blevins, N. M. Blevins 2.00
Young’s Chapel L. N. Perkins, W. C. Young, J. M. Walls, A. C. Hash, R. T. Young, W. C. Parks, J. L. Sherwood 2.00

Church Baptized By Letter by App. Excluded Dis by letter Restored Died Total
Apple Grove 2 1 29
Baptist Union 1 1 2 1 120
Fellowship 1 4 2 1 59
Forest Home 2 6 56
Grubb’s Chapel 2 1 36
Galena 2 4 1 64
Hebron 19
Liberty Hill 8 1 1 1 3 1 1 78
Land Mark 28
Mt. Pleasant 1 13
Picketts 20
Pleasant Home 2 2 1 53
Pleasant Grove 1 2 14
Pine Branch 5 2 1 1 1 32
State Line 2 27
White Top 5 1 81
Young’s Chapel 10 6 1 2 7 1 73